Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

April 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm.

A closer look at the Browns picks:

Round 1/1 – Baker Mayfield, QB, 6-1, 215, Oklahoma

General manager John Dorsey chose Mayfield over every other quarterback in the 2018 draft because Mayfield is a winner. Mayfield was 33-3 in three years at Oklahoma and completed better than 70 percent of his passes each of the last two years. Dorsey is unconcerned about Mayfield’s off-the-field behavior. Dorsey is convinced height won’t be an issue for the fiery Mayfield. Time will tell.

Round 1/4 – Denzel Ward, CB, 5-11, 183, Ohio State

Once again, this pick will be measured against who the Browns passed up to make it, namely North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb. Ward was the highest rated cornerback in the draft. The Browns added three veteran cornerbacks at the start of the league year, but Ward projects as an immediate starter on the left side. He has the speed to stay with the top receivers in the NFL. He intercepted two passes in each of the last two seasons at Ohio State.

Round 2/33 – Austin Corbett, T/G, 6-4, 306, Nevada

Corbett played left tackle four years at Nevada, but when he got to the Senior Bowl he was moved to guard. The Browns like his versatility because he can play every position on the line. Ideally, he will compete with Shon Coleman for the starting job at left tackle. Coleman started at right tackle last season but is being moved to the left side because Joe Thomas retired.

Round 2/35 – Nick Chubb, RB, 5-11, 227, Georgia

Chubb rushed 758 times for 4,769 yards and 44 touchdowns in four seasons with the Bulldogs. He breaks tackles and will complement Browns running back Carlos Hyde. A knee injury that required surgery cut Chubb’s sophomore season short at six games, but he bounced back with 1,330 yards as a junior and 1,340 yards as a senior. Only Herschel Walker has more career rushing yards at Georgia than Chubb (5,259 in three years). Browns vice president of player personnel Alonso Highsmith compared Chubb to former Ravens and Browns running back Jamal Lewis.

Round 3/67 – Chad Thomas, DE, 6-5, 281, Miami

Thomas is a run stopping defensive end capable of moving inside in pass-rush situations. He will compete with Emmanuel Ogbah for playing time and at the very least be part of the defensive line rotation defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to use. Thomas made the Hurricanes as a walk-on. He ended up playing 49 games and culminated his career with 12.5 sacks his senior season.

Round 4/105 – Antonio Callaway, WR, 5-11, 200, Florida

Callaway was arrested for marijuana possession, arrested and suspended for a year for credit card fraud and faced sexual assault allegations. The Browns traded picks 114 and 178 to New England to draft him. General manager John Dorsey said Callaway would have been the first or second receiver drafted if he had a clean record. He played in 2015 and 2016 and totaled 89 catches and seven touchdowns. He could team with Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry if he stays out of trouble.

Round 5/150 – Genard Avery, LB, 6-1, 248, Memphis

Avery is versatile enough to play inside or outside linebacker. The Browns are more likely to use him on the inside where they can use more depth. Avery will also be a core member of the special teams. He totaled 170 tackles in 50 games. He was a state champion power lifter in high school.

Round 6/175 – Damion Ratley, WR, 6-3, 190, Texas A&M

Ratley has his work cut out for him. He ran a 4.55 40 and is ranked 63rd among the receivers in the 2018 draft by Dane Brugler of He played 34 games in college and caught a total of 37 passes. He has something going for him, though. He is willing to work and play special teams, and with John Dorsey making the pick and having the final say on the roster, Ratley could make the team with an impressive training camp.

Round 6/188 – Simeon Thomas, CB, 6-2, 197, Louisiana-Lafayette

Thomas will have to make an impression on special teams. He started his career in 2013 but missed all of 2014 on the scout team and missed the first nine games of 2015 because of academic ineligibility. He totaled 65 tackles and two interceptions in 31 games.


CB Denzel Ward: The left cornerback spot is open in the Browns’ starting lineup after Jason McCourty was traded to the Patriots for a sixth-round pick, and Ward is expected to fill it. “Sudden, but composed with swivel hips and velvet feet to stay in phase with elusive receivers,” is the way Dane Brugler of describes Ward “Quick trigger once he sinks to click-and-close … lower body muscles to spring, leap and burst.” Ward ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the Combine. The Browns are going to need that speed and Ward’s cover skills to cut down the 28 touchdown passes allowed last year.


DE Chad Thomas: The Browns didn’t get the best defensive end in the draft because they passed on Bradley Chubb, but they are confident they hit the jackpot when they took Thomas with the 67th pick. “Quick-footed with speed to chase down runners … quick stab move into blockers, keeping his balance to wrap the corner,” Dane Brugler of ranked Thomas 18th among edge rushers. The Browns look at him more as a run stopper. They are tantalized with the idea of moving him inside to rush the quarterback.


G/T Austin Corbett: The Browns need a left tackle, but they used the 33rd pick on a 6-foot-4, 306-pound player projected as a guard in the NFL. They passed on Connor Williams from Texas to take Corbett. The Browns are already heavily invested at guard with Joel Bitonio on the left side and Kevin Zeitler on the right. Finding a left tackle to compete with Shon Coleman was a goal of this draft, but it didn’t happen. Corbett will compete with Coleman, but the Browns will have some explaining to do if they spent the 33rd pick on a backup.


–DE Lavar Edwards started two games and assisted on two tackles after signing with the Browns on Dec. 13. He won’t be re-signed unless it’s for a bargain price.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

–G Chris Barker (not tendered as ERFA).

–LB Tank Carder: UFA; terms unknown.

–WR Josh Gordon: ERFA: $790,000/1 yr.

–WR Matt Hazel: ERFA; $630K/1 yr.

–DE Jamie Meder: RFA tendered at $1.907M with no compensation; $1.907M/1 yr.

–C Austin Reiter: ERFA; $630K/1 yr.

–FB Dan Vitale: ERFA; $630K/1 yr.

–CB TJ Carrie: UFA Raiders; $31M/4 yrs, $15.5M guaranteed ($5.5M injury only at signing, $3.6M SB).

–TE Darren Fells: UFA Lions; $12M/3 yrs, $6.15M guaranteed ($1.5M injury only at signing, $2.1M SB).

–CB E.J. Gaines: UFA Bills; $4M/1 yr, $1.4M SB.

–T Chris Hubbard: UFA Steelers; $36,5M/5 yrs, $15.15M guaranteed ($6.15M injury only at signing, $4M SB).

–RB Carlos Hyde: UFA 49ers; $15.25M/3 yrs, $7M guaranteed ($2M injury only at signing, $3.5M SB).

–WR Jeff Janis: UFA Packers; $1.25M/1 yr.

–WR Jarvis Landry (trade Dolphins).

–CB Terrance Mitchell: UFA Chiefs; $10M/3 yrs, $4.5M guaranteed ($1M injury only at signing, $2M SB).

–S Damarious Randall (trade Packers).

–DE Chris Smith: UFA Bengals; $12M/3 yrs, $4.5M fully guaranteed/$3.5M SB.

–QB Drew Stanton: UFA Cardinals; $6.5M/2 yrs, $4.15M guaranteed.

–T Donald Stephenson: UFA Broncos; $2.5M/1 yr, $1M SB.

–QB Tyrod Taylor (trade Bills).

–T Zach Banner (released).

–LB Jeremy Cash (released).

–WR Sammie Coates (released).

–RB Isaiah Crowell: UFA Jets; $12M/3 yrs, $6M guaranteed ($2M injury only at signing, $3M SB).

–QB Kevin Hogan (traded Redskins after re-signing as ERFA; $630K/1 yr).

–QB Cody Kessler (traded Jaguars).

–ILB Josh Keyes: Not tendered as RFA/Texans; $900K/1 yr, $35K SB/$160K RB.

–QB DeShone Kizer (traded Packers).

–TE Matt Lengel (released).

–C Marcus Martin: UFA Cowboys; $880K/1 yr, $90K SB.

–CB Jason McCourty (traded Patriots).

–DT Danny Shelton (traded Patriots).

–CB C.J. Smith (released).

–T Joe Thomas (retired).




College Fans, Beware The Man in the Bottle.